Anger and Hatred on IMDB

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The Opening Shot

A young man sits on his bed, staring blankly at a black computer screen.  He shall be described as young, because people who commented on his last post told him 33 isn’t old.  Suddenly, his face tenses with anger.  He clicks helplessly, as though his computer has just crashed and he’s trying to revive it.  But the computer did not crash.  No, the black screen is a stylistic choice made by a film director.  It’s clear that the young man has realized something, that he’s had some sort of realization.

“This is bullshit!” he shouts.  “Fuck that movie!”  Cut to:

The Movie

(A quick warning – This section is about the movie Martha Marcy May Marlene.  It contains major spoilers.  Skip it and the next section if you plan on seeing this movie.)

Wait a second, these hippies have guns. I'm scared! Calm yourself down, Marcy! Erf, arf, I'm a teacher and a leader, I'm a teacher and a leader...

Martha Marcy May Marlene stars a third Olsen sister (Elizabeth – who was not part of the Tanner family) as a young woman taken in by a hippie cult.  John Hawkes (excellent as white trash in last year’s Winterbone) gives his second wonderful performance as white trash (see earlier parenthetical aside), basically playing an updated version of Charles Manson.  Elizabeth Olsen digs the hippy cult at first.  Then things start getting dark.  They shoot a cat and later kill a person.  Things aren’t all Kansas anymore, so it’s time for the Olsen girl to hit the road.  She escapes to her sister’s house, but eventually becomes paranoid that the cult is coming after her.

It’s actually quite a good, involving movie.  Although I’d honestly prefer to have seen Mary Kate or Ashley in the lead, Elizabeth Olsen is talented enough to be believable and the hippie cult stuff is genuinely creepy.  But the ending ruins the movie.  Oh, the ending.

As I said, Martha (Olsen) thinks the cult is coming after her.  In the last shot, we see Martha in the backseat of her brother-in-law’s car.  He’s driving.  Her sister is in the passenger seat.  Out the back window, behind Martha (who, for some reason, is sitting in the middle, in the bitch seat, even though nobody else is in the back with her) (in other words, cute way for the director to nicely frame her in the shot), we see a car follow them.  Is it the cult?  We think it might be.  Martha tries to brush it off.  The mystery car speeds up towards them and…

…cut to black.  Roll credits.  It’s done.  That feeling in your stomach?  Terrible, terrible dissatisfaction.

The Emotions

Tony Soprano doesn't take shit from people on IMDB message boards.

Anger.  Frustration.  Dissatisfaction.  I haven’t felt that let down since I learned I wasn’t adopted.  That ending…I get it.  She’s going to be looking over her shoulder for the rest of her life and not knowing.  Great.  Personally, I would’ve liked to have had a swell little cult massacre wrap the movie up, but that’s just me.  Anything would’ve been more satisfying than what I got.  The ambiguous cut-to-black ending is too cute and it’s also derivative.  Maybe if this was the first time I’d seen something like that, I’d applaud its audacity.  But it’s not, so instead I instantly thought of The Sopranos, The Wrestler, etc.  The end of a movie should leave me thinking about the characters, not about Tony Soprano and Steve Perry.

The IMDB Guy Who Was an Asshole

Right after the movie, I went on IMDB to read the message boards.  I wanted to see if anyone shared my disappointment.  Turns out a lot of people did.  However, one guy – named Revolutionow – fucking LOVED every second of the movie apparently and had no qualms belittling anyone who didn’t share his opinion.  Instead of putting some effort into a decent argument for his beloved movie (obviously, he must have had a crush on the Olsen girl), this moron resorted to calling people ‘ignorant’ and telling them to ‘stay away from the art house.’  I, personally, was really taken aback, as I’m a huge art house fan (my favorite contemporary director is Nuri Bilge Celan) and I completely agreed with everyone who bashed the ending as overdone and pretentious.  How dare you imply I’m ignorant, Revolutionow!  And why doesn’t your name have two n’s?  Were you inspired by the ‘Before and After’ game on Wheel of Fortune?

An indescribable fury came over me.  If Revolutionow was in the room with me, I would’ve shot him.  In the testicles, even.  I don’t have an IMDB account, and I rushed to sign up.  I HAD to give this guy a piece of my mind.  I filled all the stuff out, waited for the confirmation email, typed in the squiggly words to prove that my computer is secure or that I can read squiggly words or something (I never understood the purpose.  On a side not, I have a really hard time reading them.  I’m the only person I know who constantly fails at it.  Every time I try to buy something online and squiggly words come up, I get a little anxiety attack.).  Finally it was time to call him a bastard and I clicked ‘reply.’  Then IMDB told me I had to send my credit card info to validate my account.  I didn’t want to do that.  I paused to take a deep breath.

Why was I upset?  What was wrong with me?  It was a stupid movie and this guy was some message-board-smarty-pants troll.  Would he care if I wrote a nasty reply or took the time to thoughtfully explain why the ending didn’t work for me?  No and no.

I gave up on IMDB and tried to do my hair like John Hawkes instead.

The Conclusion

Is it passion, or is it hatred?  What influences someone to be an asshole on message boards?  Maybe, just maybe, this guy loved the movie with such fervor that he couldn’t help himself.  He was compelled to defend the thing he cherished.  But more likely, he’s a normal person who, in the IMDB message board, found a place where he could let his inner asshole go out and play.  Message boards seem to be designed to encourage ugliness.

The only defense against message-board-anger is to firmly believe in your own opinion.  We want to be open-minded enough to consider the opinions of others.  A lot of the time, sadly, it’s best to simply think ‘the movie sucks and so do you’ and leave it at that.

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30 thoughts on “Anger and Hatred on IMDB

  1. judithsmarkworld

    The fact you had to use your credit card brought you back to reason. I smiled there cause I can totally relate. People act like jerks just because they can. I also share your disappointment regarding the ending, I will not watch that movie. Enjoy ur posts. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  2. I completely disagree with this post and I think it totally sucks.

    haha, Of course I’m kidding 🙂

    I feel similarly when I read my spam comments and they are telling me crap like, ”
    I wonder where you are getting your info, this does not sound right.” Oh really Ratings of anti-Gravity chairs? So what if your brother suggested you try this site and you want to link RSS feeds. Don’t you dare critique my knowledge, you bastard. You don’t know me.

    And then I realize that it’s just a computer that writes this, but still…

    • LOL! Some of the spam is really rude! Let’s join forces and fight the evils of spam – I’m not sure how, but being a superhero who battles spam appeals to me. In other words, I understand 100% where you’re coming from. If I’m gonna get spam, at least let it be nice spam. : D

  3. Exodus

    i used to read message boards and get angry at jerks like this but i was always too lazy to sign up an account to reply. eventually i realised how exhausted it is to be angry at jerks like this. there are jerks everywhere, especially online since online environments do encourage people to display their inner assholes. we just can’t be arsed.

    • Yeah, absolutely. Every movie I look at on IMDB, the message boards are basically just full of bitching and arguing. It’s a disgrace! Not that I expect people to really get into deep analytically stuff, but a vague attempt would be nice. Instead, this is what we get:

      Person A: That movie sucked.
      Person B: You think that because you’re an idiot and you don’t understand movies.
      Person A: I understand movies. How dare you call me an idiot! You’re the idiot!
      Person B: If you’re gonna say it sucks, back it up with something.
      Person A: (writes long post backing up argument)
      Person B: Well, that’s all well and fine but you only think that cause you’re an idiot and you don’t understand movies.
      Person A: I don’t see any argument coming from you, asshole!
      Person B: (writes long post backing up argument)
      Person A: Whatever, I still think the movie sucks.

      And so on and so on and so on. Then I notice two hours have gone by and all I’ve done is read people yelling at each other. I suppose I shouldn’t complain, as it at least has entertainment value. : )

  4. Those ‘squiggly words’ are actually posted by words computer could not read. Most of them are from Google’s project to transfer all the books in to digital format.

  5. No worries dear, now you know another person who consistently FAILS at the squiggly word test. I swear I refresh the damned thing till I am SURE I can get it right and still fail.

    As for you post today, I found it quite lovely. It made me giggle, which is strange because I am not a giggly type of broad. Unfortunately though I could only imagine someone like my brother being your instigator. He loves ruffling peoples feathers and just for the fun of it. Perhaps that’s why I giggled, you vs. my lil’ brother.

    Anyway, best of luck with your next IMBD selection 🙂

    • Hi Hope! I get really angry at the website usually – “I can’t read that! How am I supposed to be able to read that!” Stupid squiggly words!

      Haha – yeah, I’m sure it’s a blast to just go on the IMDB message board and be a jerk. I used to have an account on there years ago. One time I blew up on somebody on the Eraserhead message board and then felt horribly remorseful about it, so I’ve avoided that message board ever since. I hope it wasn’t your little brother I wrote the mean reply to! : )

  6. you know i read your posts in the morning like a newspaper… makes my screws work… i’ll watch the movie to see what’s the fuss about… anyways thanks for another entertaining post 🙂

    • It’s actually a pretty decent movie. Worth seeing for the performances I’d say, and the unique subject matter. It’s a little disturbing though, so expect that. Plus John Hawkes plays a wicked good folk song at one point.

      You’re a teacher and a leader, Isabella! Don’t ever forget that!

      And thanks so much for the support – really makes my day. : )

      • Yeah, see…you called it a thriller. I don’t think it views itself that way. It should, though, and it should’ve been content to be a creepy thriller/horror movie about a cult. I would’ve liked that so much better.

        Isabella, you’re like a picture. Haha. At least it gave me some good pick up lines. I’ll try the teacher and a leader one tonight at the bar. : )

      • its more like psychological thing but i’m not really in the position to say… these movies give me nightmares.

        goodluck with your pick-up lines 🙂 i think the ‘you’re a picture’ will work better than the ‘you’re a teacher and a leader’ line. just saying… but then you’re the one making the moves so maybe you can make it work to your advantage 😀

        lol i suddenly imagine a guy in a bar telling a girl ‘you’re a teacher and a leader’ hahaha this will keep me happy for the rest of the day >.< lol ty for the laughs.

  7. letters from val

    Nothing at all to say about the movie, but the part of the post that really resonated with me was that for a large portion of my teen years, I too prayed that I was adopted. Jesus, I’d look at my parents in IHOP and wish that I would one day find out that I was found in a supermarket or some such place.

    Your last post wouldn’t let me comment again, but thanks for the name of the show. I personally found Mystery to be a genius! (A cute, albeit fur-wearing hat, genius. Tried to youtube the show and came up with nada.

  8. Oh I completely understand your anguish! My pet hate is when people go onto websites about things that they particularly hate (Twilight, some actor, pro-choice whatever) and then proceed to let everyone on that website know that they are better than that, they you are all losers/soulless/obsessed etc for taking the time to go on this website.

    Yet they themselves are on the website. Um…

    • I know exactly what you mean! Why do people hate Twilight so much, btw? I wouldn’t say I like Twilight, but it’s okay. I like that it isn’t supposed to be good and that I can laugh at it. For instance, the Lord of the Rings movies are supposed to be really good, so when I had to sit through those, I had to pretend I was really into it and if I made snide comments, they were not appreciated. Conversely, Twilight is not considered high art, so I can go in and talk through it and nobody is offended. Hence, Twilight is cool in my book.

      Um, perhaps I didn’t really respond to your point. Ah well! Love ya Set In Motion! : D

      • Hahaha. I like it when people stray off the topic. Keeps things interesting!

        Does that mean that you weren’t a fan of The Lord of The Rings movies?

        I know exactly what you mean though, half the fun of seeing a terrible movie is making fun of it. A few months ago I made my producer friend see this awful, AWFUL movie Real Steel (fighter robots with a heart…ugh) and we spent the whole time giggling…and then we got told off. Kinda took the fun out of it really.

      • Thanks – I gotta see Real Steele now. Sounds good.

        Lord of the Rings…I wouldn’t say I’m a fan…I do recognize them as being of high quality. I liked the first one a lot, then lost interest by the time the conclusion came around. Perhaps I should watch them again.

        On another note, you have a producer friend? What kind of circles are you running in, Set in Motion?

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